Archived — Recipient Bios

Year: 1998 – Province: Alberta

Certificate of Excellence Recipients

Tami Dowler-Coltman

School: Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts

Principal: Robert Maskell
School website: www.epsb.edmonton.ab.ca/ schools/victoria
Grades/Subjects Taught: Elementary and secondary theatre

Teaching approach:

  • "Students of the arts have to look inside themselves. Their education is about them and how they relate to the world."
  • Help students draw on their individual strengths and constantly think about how they can grow and excel.
  • Be ready and able to provide non-traditional ways for students to explore and learn.
  • Never say "impossible!"

Outstanding achievements:

For more than a decade has been the driving force in revitalizing the Victoria School:

  • started with almost nothing (the former Victoria Composite School was falling apart and slated to be closed)
  • created five distinct arts programs: the School of Music, the School of Dance, the Theatre School, the School of Art and Design, and the School of Video and Broadcast Studies
  • innovative, arts-based educational program is considered one of the best in Western Canada
  • attended by 1800 students, many of whom commute daily from as far away as 50 km.

In 1994, spearheaded a unique partnership between the school and an Edmonton theatre company to give students the opportunity to work alongside actors and directors in professional productions.

Recruited a large team of volunteers from parents to professional artists to enrich program.

Rave reviews:

"Because of Tami's influence this school does not simply offer instruction in various disciplines, but provides broad exposure to a whole range of ideas and skills. We're a renaissance school!" Fellow teacher

"I loved the arts when I arrived at Victoria School, but Ms. D.C. opened up a whole new level of appreciation for me. She is truly passionate about teaching the arts." Student

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